The Evangelical Ministry Assembly 2010 will focus on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the preacher, with John Piper as the headline speaker and Terry Virgo also involved.
Those of you who know British Church life, and particularly the history of the last few decades, will be amazed at this. To be clear, the leadership team behind the Proclamation Trust have not suddenly all become card-carrying tongues-speaking charismatics. Rather, as I read the information about this exciting conference, I think two things are behind what may seem like a digression from their previous event subjects.
Firstly, there is clearly a recognition of something I often bang on about here on the blog: that the experiential work of the Spirit is not something unique to the charismatics! Previous generations of Christians were very clear that they had a relationship with the living Jesus (something I explore fully in Raised With Christ). Thus, no matter what your opinion on the gifts is, the Spirit should have a tangible effect in the life of every believer, and certainly in the life of the preacher. This conference aims to explore more about what that place should be.
Secondly, there is no doubt that recent controversies within the broader evangelical tent have made people on both sides of the so-called “charismatic divide” realize that we have more in common with each other than we previously realized. The line between the reformed and the reformed charismatic movements is less distinct now than ever before.
John Piper seems more comfortable than almost anyone else in bridging this so-called divide. His response to a question about the Holy Spirit in the recent Desiring God Conference demonstrated just how comfortable he is. I suspect that he is relishing the prospect of this forthcoming conference.
An interesting feature of this conference will be that there is no attempt to sweep the real differences that remain under the carpet. If we can truly understand what each of us thinks about these things, our respect will only increase. So, what they describe as a “public and honest conversation about the work of the Holy Spirit” will happen with a goal of learning “how to discuss secondary matters over which we do not always agree, always with a view to thinking through how our theology impacts church life.”
Venue? St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, London – in the heart of the square mile of the City of London, just a few minutes walk from Liverpool Street Station.
Cost? The assembly costs £30 per day to attend.
Full speaker list
* Christopher Ash
* Rupert Bentley-Taylor
* John Piper
* Vaughan Roberts
* John Coles
* Liam Goligher
* Wayne Grudem
* Marcus Honeysett
* Wanyeki Mahiaini
* Tim McMahon
* Mike Reeves
* Terry Virgo
More information at EMA 2010 » The Details.
Unfortunately, I have run out of annual leave to take this year, so will not be able to attend the event, but I may be able to make it to an extra session being run on Thursday 24th at 5:30 PM with Wayne Grudem talking about how Christians should speak out on moral issues.